Wednesday, January 4, 2012

World's Most Expensive Cupcakes? Totally worth it!

Happy 2012!  I have spent the last two weeks enjoying the presence of my family and luxuriating in going out and having others cook for me.  Ultimately?  I'm behind on cooking and blogging.  However, I did make the world's most expensive cupcakes and lived to tell the tale.  True story!

It started back the week before Christmas.  We were planning our menu, and there was a variety of cakes and desserts to be made.  However, time ran short and desserts were in abundance, so I put my dessert on the back burner until the New Year, when we could all properly enjoy it!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 24 chocolate-hazelnut truffles (Ferrero Rocher®)

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder; set aside. Combine the milk, liqueur, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just incorporated, ending with the flour. Pour the batter into prepared cups, about 1/2 cup each.

3. Press an unwrapped truffle into the bottom of each cupcake and spread the batter over the top of each truffle. (I put some batter in first so they weren't resting on the bottom of the pan, then I placed the FR, then I finished filling the cup.) Bake in a preheated oven until the tops spring back to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Just a note: it's okay if you don't completely fill the cups.  I covered the Ferrero Rochers and then filled each cup 1/2-2/3 of the way.  They rose incredibly, as you can see from the cooling picture, and once you frost it, no one will ever know!

Now, for the frosting...

I had a hard time just spreading Nutella as a frosting.  Thomas loves it, as do many others, I'm sure, but I just can't do the straight up Nutella.  My cupcakes, my rules.  So, I found another recipe that seemed like a great compromise.

Nutella Frosting Ingredients:
1 (16oz) can of pre-made dark chocolate frosting
1 tspVanilla Extract
3/4 cup Nutella spread
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
Directions:Blend well and pipe on.
* Side note: once you put chocolate frosting on a chocolate cupcake, it looks pretty bland (at best) and like an unmentionable body function (at worst).  I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top to break up the monotony, but I'm sure you'll be clever enough to figure something out.
The sweetness is all in the frosting.  The cupcake itself is very mellow, especially without a lot of sugar.

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